Keyword research should always be your starting point when optimizing an existing page or writing new content, regardless of its purpose. Otherwise, the risk is that your keywords could either attract the wrong type of visitors, or become too difficult for you to rank for – with potentially devastating repercussions for your bottom line.

Keywords represent the search terms being used by your potential customers when looking for products and services like yours online. Understanding which search terms people are entering when conducting an internet search for these types of items will enable you to develop an SEO copywriting strategy that attracts the appropriate target market and sets you apart from competition.

Yoast often sees businesses that use one set of words to describe their products and services despite what their target audience actually uses as search terms – this means that potential customers may miss out. By conducting proper keyword research, companies can discover exactly which search terms their target market uses when looking up information related to them online. Yoast provides this valuable service that allows businesses to meet this intent more closely.

Step one of conducting effective seo keyword research is creating a list of relevant keywords related to your product or service. Create a simple spreadsheet containing categories or “buckets”, such as maintenance, clothing or training and then fill in any blanks with terms that relate directly or indirectly. This should give you a broad list that you can then filter, sort and prioritize later on.

Once you’ve collected a raw list of keywords, the next step should be sorting them by volume and intent. Search volume indicates whether anyone is actively looking for that term; search intent indicates what types of content people are searching for when using that phrase. It is important to keep in mind that search volume alone doesn’t reflect everything – other factors like competition level can also make ranking for certain keywords more or less challenging.

To gain an idea of the competition levels of your keywords, head over to Google Search Console and login. Select “Performance Report”, filter by “Impressions”, and look at “Performance Report – Impressions”. This will show any searches which may not yet have generated traffic; these ‘diamonds in the rough’ should be given priority as once integrated into an SEO or content marketing strategy, they could produce huge returns.

Step two is to assess demand and supply for keywords to help determine their relative value. Demand refers to potential traffic that a keyword could generate for your website, while supply indicates how challenging it will be to rank for a given term (i.e. competition levels). As a rule of thumb, look for those with higher rewards at lower competition levels.